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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday expressed dissatisfaction with the progress report submitted by a deputy inspector general of police on recovery of missing children and directed the provincial police officer to make efforts for the recovery of 22 children.

The two-judge bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Niamatullah Phulphoto, in its order said that police had not complied with its directive passed on Aug 16 to constitute a team to be headed by a DIG for the recovery of children.

It further observed that as per a progress report, prepared by the DIG (crime branch), out of 23 missing children only one 14-year-old girl returned home, adding that the progress was slow and unsatisfactory.

Only one out of 23 missing ones recovered so far

The bench again directed the IG to constitute a team to be headed by a dedicated DIG for making efforts to recover the remaining 22 children and use modern devices for this purpose and warned that otherwise, an appropriate order will be passed. The hearing was adjourned till Oct 3.

The progress report of the police said that the team headed by DIG crime branch held a meeting with the investigating officers of all the cases of missing children on Sept 11 and claimed that hectic efforts were made for the recovery and subsequently one missing girl returned her home.

The report further said that 23 FIRs have been lodged regarding missing children at Awami Colony, North Nazimabad, Nazimabad, Ferozabad, Saudabad, Docks, Preedy, Boat Basin, Quaidabad, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, New Karachi Industrial Area and Korangi police stations.

The petition was filed by the Roshni Research and Development Welfare in 2012 seeking court orders for the provincial police to consider the missing children’s cases, who went missing from different parts of Karachi, a cognizable offence, and register FIRs in that regard.

The NGO alleged that cases of missing children were not properly investigated by the police which resulted in many avoidable deaths.

Suspects remanded

The administrative judge of antiterrorism courts on Thursday remanded three suspects in police custody in a kidnapping for ransom and fund raising case.

Police claimed to have arrested Naeem alias Ali, Roohullah and Mukhtiar Ahmed on Wednesday for allegedly kidnapping Raheel Alam in February from the Gulistan-i-Jauhar area and later released him after collecting a ransom of over Rs10 million.

They were also booked in the same case for raising funds for banned organisations.

The investigating officer produced the suspects before the court and contended that Naeem was affiliated with the global Islamic State (IS) group and also allegedly involved in many cases including sectarian killing and murder of policemen, adding that an unlicensed weapon was also found in his possession.

The IO further submitted that three other detained suspects Fareed Ahmed, Ashraf Wali and Ahmed were set free under Section 497-(II) of the CrPC for want of evidence.

He sought the custody of Naeem and his two alleged accomplices for questioning and arrest of around five absconders.

The administrative judge handed them over to police on physical remand till Sept 18 and directed the IO to produce them again at the next hearing along with a progress report.

A case was lodged against the suspects under Sections 356-A (kidnapping for ransom) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Sections 11-H (fund raising), 11-J (funding arrangements) and 7 of Anti-terrorism Act, 1997 on the complaint of captive’s father.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2018